Discourse of the Efficient of Regeneration
by Stephen Charnock
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Stephen Charnock preached alongside Thomas Watson from 1675 until his death in
1680. Nearly all of his writings and sermons were published posthumously, the most
famous being The Existence and Attributes of God, a treatise defending the
rationality of belief in God and exploring that God’s nature. His discourse on the
“efficient of regeneration” (in other words, what causes regeneration) seeks out what
allows Christians to live renewed lives in Christ. He focuses on John 1:13—“Which were
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Rather
than through sacrifices or any other act of the human will, only God can bring about
sanctification. Along with this discourse, Charnock wrote several others on the topic of
regeneration, including the discourses on the “Nature of Regeneration” and “the Word,
the Instrument of Regeneration.”